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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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ANTIQUITY OF THE SIT®.                                               129
and silver brocade, and on It the great Idol thai iihey call Ram Bam. The head!
only Is visible and Is of very black marble, with what seemed to be two rubies
for eyes. The whole body from the neck to the -feet was covered with, an
embroidered robe of red velvet and no arms could be seen. There were two
other idols, one on either side, two feet high, or thereabouts^ and got tip In tih©
same style, only with white faces ;~these they called Becehor. -I also noticed In
the temple a structure 15 or 16 feet square, and from 12 to 15 feet high,
covered with coloured clothes representing all sorts of demons. This structure
was raised on four little wheels, and they told me It was the moveable altar
on which they set the great god on high feast days, when he goes to visit the
other gods, and when they take him to the river with all the people on their
chief holiday."
From the above description, the temple would seem to have been crowded
with coarse iigure^seulptures, and not In such pure taste as ihe somewhat oldet
temple of Govind Deva at Brinda-ban ; but It must still have been a most
sumptuous and imposing edifice, and we cannot but detest iSie bigotry of the
barbarian who destroyed it. At the time of Its demolition It bad been In exist-
ence only some fifty years, but it is certain that an earlier alirine, or series of
shrines, on the same site and under the same dedication, bad been famous for,
many ages. Thus it is said in the Taraha Parana—
!N& Kesava tamo dera na Mathsri s&ma dtif %
" Ho god Hke Kesava, and no Brahman like s Mathuriya Ghaube. "
In still earlier times ihe site BOW -wrested by the Mubammadaiis from the
Hindus had been seized by the Hindus themselves to the prejudice of smother
religion, as is attested by the Buddhist remains which we bave already descrlb*
ed as found there.
With regard to the change in tke course of the stream* all engineers whom
I have consulted are unanimous In declaring that the ma-fa channel of the
Jamuna cam never in historic lime have been at ihe foot of the temple^ as
Tavemier imagined. The traces of fluvial action^, which be obsevred} are
unmistakeable, but they, date from the most remote antlojiity* Thi% however,
need not occasion any difficulty s lor, as Madhm-puii, the capita!* was
established at a point wMch clearly the Jamuu4 could never. bav@ reached, tlber®
Is no improbability in supposing tliat the second capital rnlso^ £h®ngli m&ch
nearer the stream, was mot actually on Its bank* Tbe temples wMcb Fa HIaa
mentions as being on the other side of the river were pgdb&bly situate at Isapur
and Mahi-bam. It Is als© to be noted that a tnbvtwni stream, the bed of wblcfa